Sunday, 28 January 2018

Heteronormative Holidays

Holidays are a huge part of my life, but that doesn't always mean that they're smooth sailing, and likely even less so if you're a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and twice fold again if you're travelling with a partner or group of people in the same community. This isn't a post about how this needs to change (you can totally find one of those that I wrote a while back here) though it really, really does, but this one is a little more light hearted, because I want to talk about how awkward it can be when I go on holiday and rock up with my fiancee. I know, it's unusual, me being awkward - but stick with me here.

Let me make it clear that for most LGBTQIA+ people travelling, feeling awkward is often the least of our problems; but it's still definitely not nice. It's all too often that Katy and I rock up to apartments and hotels to be faced with staff who laugh whilst apologising because they 'didn't realise we were friends/sisters/colleagues and so they've given us a double bed!' They offer to change it for us, they point out extra beds, hand out extra linen. When it happens it's awkward to explain, more awkward not to - it's something that Katy and I have come to joke and laugh about, but the fact it's happening in 2018 isn't actually all that funny at all. 

When you start to notice casual heteronormativity in holiday destinations, it seems to spread like wildfire - men on stag dos asking if you and your sister would like to nip out with them for a drink, people round every corner telling you if you go to certain bars you might find a 'nice man', not being able to sit on that bloody sofa to play cards and drink because it's set up as a second bed for the phantom man in your relationship. That was all a bit dramatic, but you get me. It gets old quick when people always assume that your girlfriend is your wing man, a relation to you, or someone you know well enough to share a bathroom but not a bedroom with.

As attitudes get slightly more liberal, travelling gets easier every time we go away (and to be fair, I just care a lot less than I did the first time around). It gets easier again when see that some companies now are offering gay friendly holidays (and of course, they're generally LGBTQIA+ inclusive, though they don't always state it that way). Getting to a villa where you can sit on the sofa without having to battle with a duvet that you don't need! People realising that you and the woman you're travelling with might want to share a bed! What larks! Such a novelty!

Seriously though - this post is all my own opinions but is in collaboration with James Villa Holidays, who are going out of their way to make their villas LGBTQIA+ and gay friendly. By rights I know all holidays and venues should be - but until that's a reality, this could be a godsend to people starting to travel as a couple; or to anyone who just wants to stay somewhere you don't have to worry about justifying yourself to; until that's every location, they're definitely worth a peek.

If you have any 'is that your sister' stories, please leave them below; after writing this I'm worried maybe me and Katy just look super alike.

Sammy xo.
Post written in collaboration with James Villa Holidays, however all views, opinions, words and, sadly, sister stories are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I'd never really thought of this as being an issue-but then that's my ignorance as I've never been in that situation. It's great that there's now LGBTQIA+ and gay friendly holidays-a bit of understanding has got to be good.